Some of the biggest victims of domestic violence are the smallest. Domestic violence affects every member of the family, including the children and teens. It is estimated that approximately 3.3 to 10 million children witness the abuse of a parent or adult caregiver each year (Carlson, 1984; Straus and Gelles, 1990). These children live in homes where they witness and experience domestic violence, threatening their safety and sense of security. Children who are exposed to violence in the home may have difficulty learning and limited social skills, exhibit violent, risky or delinquent behaviors or suffer from depression or severe anxiety.
PALS: Peace: A Learned Solution is a 7 month comprehensive treatment program in collaboration with Camden County Women's Center using creative arts therapies for Camden County children between the ages of 3 and 12 who have been exposed to domestic violence and their non-offending parents/guardians. The program provides assessments, case management, group and individual art, play, music, and/or dance/movement therapies; family therapy and transportation. PALS also provides individual counseling and parenting groups to non-offending custodial parents. The primary goal of PALS is to provide children and their non-offending parent/guardian with a safe environment to reduce the impact of domestic violence and to improve child and family functioning and well-being.